Attention Urbana Hipsters: The floor-staring, ironic-dancing, “I liked them better when they were called Pavement” event of the season is fast approaching. Starting Wednesday, September 19, the Pygmalion Music Festival will blow the roof off local bars throughout the Champaign-Urbana area, home to the University of Illinois. Brush up on your Pitchfork review scores because you wouldn’t want to hesitate when your significantly less hip friends ask “have you heard of these guys?”
The festival, in its third year, will be headlined by Andrew Bird and Okkervil River while major artists, including David Bazan, The Redwalls, ?uestlove, Headlights, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, and Owen, will be playing over the festival’s four-day span.
Unfortunately, none of these artists matter and, in fact, are only listened to by bigots who hate universal suffrage, the abstract concept of liberty, and those adorable pictures of cats with the grammatically incorrect captions.
- Andrew Bird? Nice whistle, idiot.
- Okkervil River? Named after a story named after a river in a place that was once called LENINGRAD. Nice political statement Will.
- David Bazan? Every song on his new EP have unironic alternate titles; even Fall Out Boy has advanced past this.
- The Redwalls? They’re still a band? (No, seriously, is this blowing anyone else’s mind that these dudes are still making music? I thought after bands were featured on MTV 2’s The Leak they simply ceased to exist…)
- Headlights? Sucked when they were called Stars.
- Casiotone For The Painfully Alone? Dude HATES cupcakes.
Owen? The reason American Football broke up was because Mike Kinsella wanted to pursue a solo career, hoping that one day he could play an indie-rock festival in Champaign-Urbana. Pygmalion broke up American Football.
It gets worse. If you do decide to throw caution to wind and see one of these shows (which effectively indicates that you are against the RIAA, but only because you think its anti-piracy measures are not strong enough), you will likely be surrounded by jeep brahs who will promptly attempt to steal your boyfriend/girlfriend and throw a beer can at you (if you’re a dude) or scream things like “ungh gurl, give me your digits” or “so much honey in here I thought I was in a beehive” so loudly you'll be unable to even hear the music (if you’re a female).
Now, I know what you're thinking: “the baseless claims you’ve indiscriminately hurled have changed my mind, but I’ve already purchased the incredibly reasonable $45 festival pass, which grants me access to all shows at all eight associated venues... where can I sell it?” Don’t. While 70 of the bands may not support the Kyoto Protocol or transparency in government, one band still has your social, economic, and rock ‘n’ roll needs covered. Oceans. This is “The Band That Plays What Leonard Cohen Meant To say.”
But don’t take my word on the fact that OCEANS is the pinnacle of art. Consult the following breakdown and make your own decisions about what you think of Oceans' unique brand of post-rock smeared in a Midwest punk rock ethos.
Andrew Bird V. Oceans
- Andrew Bird has a degree in violin performance from Northwestern University with a degree. A degree tailor-made for amusing the aristocracy.
- Oceans is comprised of altruists seeking to make the human experience better for all, with one member in medical school and the others completing degrees in urban planning, education, and political science.
- Andrew Bird worked with the Squirrel Nut Zippers.
- Oceans work alone. Like James Bond.
Okkervil River V. Oceans
- Okkervil River’s Pygmalion time slot is at 12:20 on a Wednesday night.
- Oceans is already in bed preparing to work their hardest the next day.
- Will Sheff produces critical writings on film, literature, and music for a host of respected publications.
- Oceans ain’t no nine-to-five sellouts.
David Bazan V. Oceans
- The Wikipedia entry on Pedro The Lion refers to their genre as “Slowcore.”
- The Wikipedia article on Oceans talks about the likelihood of water on the Galilean moon Europa and has an infrared map of large underwater features.
The Redwalls V. Oceans
- No counterpoint necessary.
Headlights V. Oceans
- Headlights' songs include quaint narratives about small town life and love.
- In Oceans, "Epic masterpieces unfold like boyhood adventures as lies are told, battles are fought, and friendships are saved, evoking nostalgia with every strum. With the blink of an eye, Oceans kicks in a math rock swagger that sneers and spits as much as it sanctifies. True to their midwestern punk rock ethos, they play every note with the sincerity and honesty that music was meant to be played, making ever performance one to be remembered."
Owen V. Oceans
- Mike Kinsella, Owen, sits on stage statically and plays complex acoustic pieces.
- Oceans will punch you/one another in the face for not feeling it.
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone V. Oceans
- Owen Ashworth wants to revoke the third amendment in the Bill of Rights.
- Oceans don’t want no troops all up in their business.
You can get the (unnecessary) schedule here but really all that matters is that Oceans will be playing at 8 P.M. on Friday, September 21 at the Canopy Club. Festival-long passes are still available, and tickets for all shows will be for sale at the door.
Full disclosure/plagiarism defense: I would like to thank the members of Oceans for supplying all of the material in quotes.